We envision a community where all children enter kindergarten ready to learn.
Kindergarten marks the start of a child’s formal education. A child’s first school experiences can influence the way he or she relates to others for the rest of his life. Success or failure at this stage can affect a child’s well-being, self-esteem, and motivation. A lack of kindergarten readiness also can lead to children repeating grades.
Research has shown kindergarten classroom engagement was a predictor of better grades, lower dropout risk, better school connection, lower risk of substance use, and more involvement in physical activity.
The effects of COVID-19 on preparation for kindergarten readiness have been staggering. According to Horry County Schools (HCS) Report Card, for the 2018/2019 school year 41.8% of students entering kindergarten were overall prepared. For the 2020/2021 school year, only 24.8% of students were prepared to enter kindergarten. And in the lower-income schools, the number is even worse.
What is Camp United?
Camp United is a program of United Way of Horry County that is a 6-week summer learning camp that runs June 9 – July 13, Monday – Thursday, 7:30 am – 1:30 pm. Camp United serves as a continuation of learning for students already enrolled in Horry County Schools Pre-K program that are performing below readiness levels and are at most risk. Camp United serves Myrtle Beach Early Childhood, Daisy, Green Sea Floyds, and Loris Elementary schools; four schools with some of the highest rates of poverty and the lowest levels of kindergarten readiness in the county.
Camp United uses current HCS approved curricula, “Big Day for PreK,” for teaching and would be taught by licensed HCS teachers. Class sizes are limited to 15 students per class to keep classrooms small and promote individualized instruction in the areas indicated. This smaller class size also provides opportunities for teachers to incorporate social and emotional structures and strategies that can often impede academic success in struggling learners. “Big Day for PreK” offers learning experiences and materials that support children’s social and emotional, academic, and physical development.
Camp United is completely funded by United Way of Horry County and is free to all who attend. Transportation, breakfast and lunch, and all supplies and books are included at no cost. Please consider making a gift to support Camp United today.
Camp United can help close this gap in inequitable services and opportunities for these students.
Camp United is supported by Tidelands Health, Waccamaw Community Foundation, and gifts from Horry Electric Cooperative and North Myrtle Beach Chamber Foundation.